Update to the Public Interest Comment: Increasing Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process

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By Brian F. Mannix

August 20, 2018

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Attached is a comment that I filed in response to a recent EPA ANPRM to increase transparency in considering costs and benefits in the rulemaking process. I am filing this same comment in the CEQ docket as well, because of the parallels between CEQ’s efforts to bring consistency and transparency to the NEPA process and EPA’s efforts to pursue the same goals with respect to rulemaking. I conclude with a recommendation that the president authorize the Office of Management and Budget to issue an interagency rule to better achieve those goals:

Just as presidents have done with NEPA and major federal actions, the president could authorize an agency to issue regulations governing the consideration of benefits and costs in rulemaking, and could order the affected agencies to comply with it. If it is done well, such a regulation would be entitled to deference by the courts. I recommend that the administration consider proceeding on this broader front, with the rulemaking that EPA has begun.

CEQ’s experience with rulemaking under NEPA provides an important and instructive precedent that could help OMB bring greater consistency and transparency to agency rulemaking throughout the executive branch. I urge CEQ to work actively with OMB to advance this effort.

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